Four Critical Steps to Manage Your Career and Get a Life

I’m Kenneth Vogt, Sales Director of Bitesize Bio and founder of Vera Claritas Inc. I play the role of Richard Roeper, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert all rolled into one, reviewing and highlighting the webinars and video presentations found at the Life Science Marketing Society.

Today I’m commenting on the presentation entitled:

You Are the CEO of Your Own Career

It is described this way:

Are you sleepwalking through your career? Have you got so caught up in the pressures of the day to day that you’ve lost sight of your dreams? Is “hope and wait” the strategy you’ve been relying on for career advancement?

Or worse, are you working hard to accomplish goals that will never give you the life you actually want?

In this video, learn how to build a life of your design, and become the CEO of Your Own Career.

You’ll discover:

  • How to get clarity on what you actually want from your career (it’s not always what you think)
  • How to free yourself from the traps set by other people’s thinking
  • Why accepting the status quo will steal your dreams
  • Why $0/hr work is actually the most profitable work you can do

Today we hear from our very own Harrison Wright. We didn’t just grow him in a test tube here. He has already had an interesting career taking himself where he wants to go. Aside from not just traveling but living abroad and racing motorcycles, Harrison has experience as a recruiter, an entrepreneur, a marketer, a sales manager — and he is an expert on the life of the life science marketer. He breathes some life into your career today as he discusses four steps you must take you to command your career and, by extension, your life.

Have you ever look up from your desk and wondered, How did I get here anyway? Why am I doing these tasks, why am I doing them with these people, at this company, in this industry? Today Harrison puts out the call for you to reclaim your life and career.

Did you choose your career path or did it just sort of happen to you? Are you on a path because “they” say it is a good path and “they” say it is the right path for you? There is something you may have forgotten along the way: You have a choice.

Sometimes we are only half-choosing. For instance, you can want a promotion because you like the idea of additional prestige, authority or approval, only to find it also comes with responsibilities and a even a lifestyle you just don’t want.

Success as defined by society can trap you by over-qualification in a life that you never wanted, looking back nostalgically at the past un-promoted you and remembering how much happier you were then. This is when you realize that money, reputation and status can’t be your only goals. It’s not that those are not good things, worthy things even. But they may not by themselves be satisfying things for you.

Maybe one reason you aren’t choosing or are only half-choosing is you don’t actually know what you want. After all, you were expected to pick your major at university before you even knew how the world worked, and look how that turned out. That pattern continues on into the working world.

One approach to take is to experiment. (We do work in the science field, right?) Resumes are built on experiments. Even if you never revisit a certain job role again, it can be the stepping stone to useful connections and greater things. On the other hand, it is good to learn what you don’t like by actual experience rather than conjecture.

You don’t have to change jobs to branch out into new areas either. Stop waiting for permission and make yourself more valuable by making the effort to learn and hone new skills that go beyond your current to-do list.

Do you still feel like you need permission? Fine, Harrison is giving you permission to get creative. You don’t have to do what everybody else has done in the way that they have always done it. Here’s the formula he offers:


1) What do you really want?

Contemplate what you really want out of your career. Don’t measure against where you are now or the limitations of present circumstances. Indulgently be an unrealistic optimist for a moment and see what a vision you can create.

Key to this vision will be the question, “Why?” Why do you want this visionary career? What do you think it will do for you? What will it protect you from, give to you, teach you? Knowing why you want it and what you will get from it will be the things that carry you through when things are demanding or hard or seem far off.

Dream about the good things. How do you want to spend your every day? By the way, if all this gooey idealism is getting to be a bit much for you, do not despair. You can also engage the nagging pessimist in you. What to you want to stay away from? What do you never, ever want to have to do (again)? Once you know clearly where you want to go and where you don’t, next you:


2) Identify the gap

If that’s over there and you’re over here, what does the space in between look like? Do you need more schooling, more experience, a different outlook, a new city, better teammates, a better boss, a different employer?

If the gap looks like a dark and yawning chasm, remember your Why from step #1. If your Why is powerful enough, it can get you through the toughest of times. If it’s not getting you through at this point, go back to step #1. When you see it shining on the hill and you want it bad enough, now you are ready to:


3) Design the bridge

Of course you are not expected to get to this new and appeal career on wishful thinking. Now is the time to determine a plan. Start figuring out how to backfill your deficiencies. Look for opportunities for formalized training and do not underestimate all of the free and nearly free things available online. And don’t be a cheapskate about it, whether we are talking time, money or attention. You will be investing in you, and you are your most precious asset.


4) Go!

Now that you have a plan, it is time to execute. Make intentional choices and spend your time wisely. Start doing things, if only for yourself as need be, to get good at new skills. Build your confidence, build your desire. Keep track of your progress. Reward your accomplishments before others realize they should. Know that you are ready for the vision you (and only you could) have created.


Make sure your career works for you. For loads of ideas, actions and motivation, listen to the whole presentation here:

You Are the CEO of Your Own Career

For more analysis, observation and witty repartee, be sure to check out our podcast featuring myself and Harrison Wright, plus interesting and exciting guests. Here is the specific episode examining the presentation above.

But you know you want more. Subscribe to the Life Science Marketing Society podcast here: iTunes | SoundCloud

Photo Credit: Engin Erdogan

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